Concerns about cognitive dysfunction being a possible adverse effect of statins have been allayed by two new studies presented today at the European Society of Cardiology congress in Amsterdam.
The studies both suggest that statins may actually be linked to lower rates of dementia in older people.
The first study of 58,000 patients showed a dose-related inverse relationship between statin use and new-onset nonvascular dementia.
Patients who received the highest doses of statins had a 3-fold decrease in the risk of developing dementia. High-potency statins such as atorvastatin and rosuvastatin showed a significant inverse association with developing dementia in a dose-response manner. Higher doses of high-potency statins gave the strongest protective effects against dementia
The second study in 5221 patients with atrial fibrillation, found a lower incidence of dementia in patients taking statins compared with those not taking statins.
During a 6-year follow-up, 2.1% of the patients taking statins developed dementia compared with 3.5% of the non-statin group, a statistically significant difference.
Recent reports of statin-associated cognitive impairment have led the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to list statin-induced cognitive changes, especially for the older population, in its safety communications.